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Giant iceberg headed for Australia

"A once-in-a-century cliff of ice"
 

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      Satellite image released by the Australian Antarctic Division (ADD) showing a
      giant iceberg floating toward Western Australia

 

11 Dec 09 - A giant iceberg measuring 140 square km (54 square miles) - double the size of either Sydney Harbour or Manhattan - is headed for Australia.

The Bureau of Meteorology said the once-in-a-century cliff of ice broke off  from Antarctica nearly 10 years ago.

Known as B17B, the mammoth chunk of ice - 12 miles long and five miles wide - is  about 1,700 km (1,056 miles) off Australia's southwest coast, according to the country's Antarctic Division.

"B17B is a very significant one in that it has drifted so far north while still largely intact," said Australian Antarctic Division glaciologist Dr Neal Young, who spotted the slab using satellite images taken by NASA and the European Space Agency.

Dr Young said if the iceberg on its northward path, it would eventually break up into hundreds of smaller icebergs.

The smaller icebergs created when the larger berg break up could become shipping hazards if they float closer to shore.

Australian authorities have issued a shipping alert over the gigantic iceberg.

Dr Young said an iceberg the size of B17B had not been seen so far north since the days when 19th century clipper ships plied the trade route between Britain and Australia.

Originally three times its current size, the iceberg broke off Antarctica's Ross Ice Shelf in 2000 along with several others, and has since traveled thousands of miles and a third of the way around Antarctica.

It stayed completely still in one spot for about five years, but is now on the move again.

Dr Young said sightings of large icebergs could become more frequent if sea temperatures rise through global warming.

     Sure. Blame global warming.

     It's interesting to note that three years earlier, another family of icebergs
     drifted along the east coast of New Zealand's South Island.

     Oceanographer Mike Williams told Radio New Zealand the icebergs had
     "pretty much the same origin" but that some had probably been trapped
     in the icy seas of Antarctica for longer, before being carried north by the
     currents.

     However he was reluctant to cite global warming as the reason for the large-
     scale movement of ice. "We do have to change our position a little because in
     2006 we thought this was a 'once in a lifetime' event.
   

     Icebergs are formed as the ice shelf develops. (Grows, in other words.) Snow
     falls on the ice sheet and forms more ice, which flows to the edges, onto the
     floating ice shelves.
Eventually, pieces around the edge break off.

See:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/australia/6768364/Giant-iceberg-heading-for-Australia.html
Thanks to Benjamin Napier, Kenny Meyers and Bill Pojedinec for this link
          "This says that icebergs like this haven't been seen so far north since the
           days of the Clipper Ships," says Benjamin. "Wasn't that BEFORE agw???
           How could this be?"

          "Take care and keep up the great work!" says Kenny.

Or see:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20091211/wl_afp/australiaantarcticaiceberg
Thanks to Tom Meyer and Steve Barlog for these links
     "Wait a minute," says Tom. "If icebergs were there back in the 19th century
      in clipper ship days, that wasn`t global warming then  !!  Goes to show, they
      blame everything on global warming. More cooking the science."

     "If this is caused by global warming," asks Steve, "why is it still floating
      around? It should have melted.
"

Or see:
http://www.sphere.com/2009/12/09/huge-iceberg-heading-toward-australia/19272433/
Thanks to David Bronzich for this link
      "Why is no one talking about this?" asks David
 

 



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